Written Arts Program Presents
Monday, September 23, 2019
A Reading by Dinaw Mengestu
Reem-Kayden Center Laszlo Z. Bito '60 Auditorium
On Monday, September 23, at 6:00 p.m. in the Reem-Kayden Center Laszlo Z. Bito ’60 Auditorium, Dinaw Mengestu reads from his work. Presented by the Written Arts Program and introduced by Richard B. Fisher Family Professor in Literature and Writing Mary Caponegro, the reading is free and open to the public; no tickets or reservations are required. Books will be available for sale, courtesy of Oblong Books & Music.
6:00 pm – 7:30 pm
Dinaw Mengestu came to the United States with his family from Ethiopia at the age of two. Since earning his MFA at Columbia University in 2005, he has published three novels, all of them New York Times Notable Books, including How to Read the Air (Riverhead, 2010), The Beautiful Things That Heaven Bears (Riverhead, 2007), and his most recent, All Our Names (Knopf, 2014). A 2012 MacArthur Foundation Fellow, Mengestu also earned a 2007 National Book Foundation Under 35 Award and was included on the New Yorker’s “20 Under 40” list in 2010. He is the recipient of a Lannan Fiction Fellowship, Guardian First Book Award, and Los Angeles Times Book Prize, among numerous other awards. His work has been translated into more than 15 languages. Mengestu is also a freelance journalist who has reported from sub-Saharan Africa about life in Darfur, northern Uganda, and eastern Congo, and has had his work published in Harper’s, Granta, Rolling Stone, the New Yorker, and the New York Times. He has taught writing at Brooklyn College and Georgetown University and is currently the director of Bard’s Written Arts Program.
“You can’t turn the pages fast enough, and when you’re done, your first impulse is to go back to the beginning and start over. . . . While questions of race, ethnicity, and point of origin do crop up repeatedly in Mengestu’s fiction, they are merely his raw materials, the fuel with which he so artfully—but never didactically—kindles disruptive, disturbing stories exploring the puzzles of identity, place, and human connection.” —Malcolm Jones, The New York Times
PRAISE FOR DINAW MENGESTU
PRAISE FOR DINAW MENGESTU
“Mengestu portrays the intersection of cultures experienced by the immigrant with unsettling perception. . . . [He] evokes contrasting landscapes but focuses on his characters . . . who are all caught in a cycle of connection and disruption, engagement and abandonment, hope and disillusion.” —Publishers Weekly
“Subtly powerful . . . Sharp . . . We need globe-straddlers like Mengestu to show us that love, like hate, respects no borders.” —Boris Kachka
Time: 6:00 pm – 7:30 pm
Location: Reem-Kayden Center Laszlo Z. Bito '60 Auditorium